My father is a tea connoisseur and so I grew up drinking the finest Indian tea.
I remember going tea shopping with him in Calcutta as a kid and it was a big ritual. The shops used to have large wooden boxes with various teas coming from Darjeeling and Assam and my father will ask, “ Dada, what’s the finest you got this time? Make me a blend.” The Dada, i.e. the tea shop owner would then dig his steel ladle into the tea boxes and scoop up a few grams from here and mix it with few grams from there all the while sniffing the tea and nodding his head in satisfaction (or not).
A good 10 minutes later a customized tea blend would be ready for us – perfect as per my father’s taste – little heavy on body and extremely aromatic over all – a rightly mixed Assam and Darjeeling tea. Those were my first live lessons on tea and tea blends.
Back home, my mother would brew the perfect tea for us using her delicate porcelain tea set – handed down from her mother – which came with its own designer coasters and kettle cover.
My memories of these tea rituals are embedded in my mind. Even now every time I think of tea I can still smell the fresh aroma of loose tea leaves and the brewed liquor. Now I know that my love for tea started there.
However, it was not until at least a couple of decades later that that love for tea took any shape in my life and made me a Tea Artist.
I call myself a Tea Artist – because tea and tea making / drinking is nothing less than an art. I have been teaching this fine art of making and drinking tea for a while now and completely love what I do.
‘Tea Artist’ is Trademark registered to me.
I also run a boutique marketing and brand consulting company called Smart iDeAS.
Other things about me:
Design and create tea travels programs in India; plan to do it in Sri Lanka and other tea growing countries in Asia soon. Work as tea consultant to a few large and small / boutique tea brands in India. Conduct regular tea workshops across India in collaboration with luxury hotels, tea rooms and corporate.
Run a certificate program on Indian Tea with collaboration with Tea Board India. Provide training programs to hotels, restaurants and tea rooms on tea and food pairing. Was the Official Tea Artist and Tea Blogger for the ‘Teas of the World Contest’ , conducted by AVPA Paris in July 2018.
Organizer of Tea Festival India – the first of its kind B2C tea festival, that helps premium and specialty teas come together under one roof to meet their discerning consumers.
Run a Tea group – “Tea By Susmita” – the only group of its kind in India, based out of Bangalore.
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